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Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike
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Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  320 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Between 1896 and 1899, thousands of people lured by gold braved a grueling journey into the remote wilderness of North America. Within two years, Dawson City, in the Canadian Yukon, grew from a mining camp of four hundred to a raucous town of over thirty thousand people. The stampede to the Klondike was the last great gold rush in history.

Scurvy, dysentery, frostbite, and
Hardcover, 413 pages
Published September 13th 2010 by HarperCollins Canada (first published January 1st 2010)
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Peggy Leavey
Apr 06, 2011 Peggy Leavey rated it really liked it
The back cover blurb reads: "Mounties, miners, ministers, and dance hall girls — they all came to Dawson City in the Yukon as the world went mad for gold."

Respected biographer Charlotte Gray has chosen six different individuals to profile in this book from among thousands who flocked to the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1890s. There's the miner William Haskell, whose partner Joe Meeker is tragically swept away under the ice by the swift current in the Yukon River; the selfless Jesuit priest, F
Kathleen Nightingale
I love Charlotte Gray's writing style and for that reason she gets four stars.

The book, for me, really only deserved a 3.5 rating but so be it. This book illustrated five people who were willing to accept the challenges of digging Gold in the Yukon Gold Rush. They were challenging times to say the lest -- from moving through, over, the Chilkoot Pass to adapting to the weather conditions which were so different from many were use to. Gray choice William Haskell, Belinda Mulrooney, Jack London, Fl
Jerry Auld
Jun 13, 2012 Jerry Auld rated it liked it
Well told historical tales. The only thing that would have been better is if they were fictionalized to be even closer to the reader. That's just my preference. Gray did a solid job of weaving six different character's lives together, and to bringing the significance and feel of the arctic at the turn of the century into our modern day imagination by able comparison.
Dec 29, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This awesome book is not about this kind of gold digging (Nathaniel wondered?) Though, Jamie Foxx and Kanye West in the Klondike in 1896 probably would have been awesome. At the very least, the gambling halls, bars and hookers would have been even more rich from their patronage!

So...not about:

but totally about:

In seriousness, though, Gray did a great job with the book. Gold Diggers covers the gold rush period from 1896 till 1899, viewed through the narratives of prospector William Haskell, bus
Mar 18, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, nonfiction
Charlotte Gray is right up there with Rick Atkinson in making history come alive. Here she presents the gold rush in the Klondike in 1897 and 1898 through a cast of colorful characters. She portrays the hardships: going over the Kilchut Pass, making boats and floating more than 100 miles down the Yukon River to Dawson, moving supplies, surviving the winter cold (60 below) and a diet of bread, beans, and bacon; the medical problems of scurvy and dysentery.

Each of her characters enable her to deep
Oct 04, 2010 Bea rated it really liked it
A lot of times, things that happen in real life are more interesting than many fiction novels, and you can read about them in these history type books that follow people's lives through a certain period of time. You get to hear all about exiting and quirky things they did and saw, and strange or engaging people they met, way before there was electricty, railroads, or any creature comforts. I happen to love these kinds of history books. They allow you to imagine yourself living in that time and ...more
Dec 22, 2010 Sharon rated it really liked it
The story of the Yukon Gold Rush is a fascinating one. The discovery of gold deposits in Bonanza Creek in 1896 attracted every sort of person from all parts of the world to the area. Soon Dawson City was a rowdy frontier town full of prospectors, entrepreneurs, bankers,and prostitutes. What Charlotte Gray does so effectively is tell you this history through the stories of the lives of six people who were there to experience it all: the minor William Haskell;the priest Father Judge; the businessw ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Ellen rated it it was amazing
The television adaptation was good, but the real story was so much better. Some characters were compressed in the mini-series, others were given Hollywood make-overs. For instance, Belinda Mulrooney was not nearly as fetching as Abbie Cornish made her seem. The actress did, however, capture perfectly the win-at-all-costs determination of a woman alone in the Yukon. The chapters on Jack London, Bill Haskell, Mountie Sam Steele and Fr. William Judge were very well researched and written. The brut ...more
I really liked this!! I knew little about the gold rush and I felt this book gave me both a wider context and a specific understanding of certain peoples' experiences. Charlotte Gray is a good writer and a great researcher; in this book she follows the story of the Klondike gold rush through the stories of a prospector, a priest, a businesswoman, an English journalist, the law officer Sam Steele, and Jack London. I liked some chapters/characters (all real people, please note) better than others ...more
Feb 02, 2011 Adrian added it
Gray includes all the sweat, grime and hard graft of the Yukon gold rush as experienced by six individuals. It's quite a story and remarkable for a phenomenon that lasted less than four years (1896-1899)that it still holds such a spell. The center of the gold rush was the city of Dawson which grew from nothing to 30,000 and back down again to nearly nothing during these years. Gray could have provided a bit of detail on what large companies did in dredging the area after the individual prospecto ...more
May 12, 2014 Don rated it really liked it
Initially I started reading the book because of the History Channel miniseries, Klondike. I was very pleasantly surprised to find a history book that far outweighed the tv series. Charlotte Gray is able to weave a tale of six participants of the Klondike Gold Rush in such a way that it makes the reader feel as though they are right there with them. It was a shame to reach the end because I didn't want this to be the end of my journey into the Klondike. I was highly impressed with this book and w ...more
Jenny Brown
May 07, 2011 Jenny Brown rated it it was amazing
Gray brings alive the Yukon gold rush and life in Dawson using a series of primary sources such as a contemporary prospector's account of his two years in the Yukon, Jack London's writings about his disastrous foray into prospecting, a brother's account of a Jesuit priest who founded Dawson's hospital, and an interpid English lady reporter for the Times.

The book brings the period alive and leaves you with brilliantly described images and anecdotes you won't soon forget.

Highly recommended.
Deb Vanasse
Mar 16, 2013 Deb Vanasse rated it really liked it
The narrative is beautifully executed, and Charlotte Gray has done a great job of weaving together the stories of diverse characters in Dawson City during the Klondike era. She has unearthed some interesting facts I haven't come across before, most notably the tension between the Jesuits and the Oblates. What kept it from five stars for me were some factual errors. It's the Coast Mountains, not the St. Elias, through which the Chilkoot Pass runs; I cringed every time this range was misnamed in t ...more
Oct 08, 2010 Loretta rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent non-fiction read, that provides a rich and full picture of the Klondike Gold Rush through the eyes of a variety of folks in the middle of it, including Jack London, a Jesuit father, a female entrepreneur, and of course the gold diggers themselves. A very good read, pulled me right along.
Jan 02, 2015 Cheryl rated it liked it
This book was picked by a member of my book club. Although I found it somewhat interesting and informative, I don't tend to read non-fiction for pleasure. I also unfortunately was unable to finish the book as it was a library book which came due and because my club is reading it, I was unable to renew because there were holds on it from other members.
Joe Rodeck
Mar 30, 2016 Joe Rodeck rated it really liked it
Charlotte Gray writes a history focusing hers lens of some fascinating characters involved in the Klondike gold rush, incl Jack London. The storytelling is first class with grody realism that puts me in a zone that only the best works do.
Joseph King
Sep 06, 2015 Joseph King rated it really liked it
Wonderful for the first 200 pages and then it just died! The descriptions of the rush were great but it really bogged down after the initial phase was over. But, all in all, a well written and informative narrative. Section on Jack London was excellent.
Aug 21, 2014 LucidStyle rated it really liked it
I read chapters 10 and 12 for information regarding Jack London's experience in the Klondike. A good read; much of the information is similar to Berton, but another singing voice is given here. These volumes unearth the still-heady power of the Klondike stories.
Aug 23, 2011 JennLynn rated it really liked it
A fascinating look into the Dawson gold rush years. It was wonderful to get an up-close and personal look at several real life characters (including a youthful Jack London), rather than just a general overview. B
Maria Mangano
Mar 18, 2015 Maria Mangano rated it really liked it
After a visit to Seattle, where many pioneers "outfitted" themselves for the Klondike Gold Rush, I as eager to read more about it. This book did not disappoint. I like the way Gray wove the stories of six individuals through the book to give it structure.
Aug 15, 2015 Betty rated it really liked it
A fascinating read about the reality of the travel to the Klondike and what life was like when those searching for gold reached their destination. It was also interesting to learn about NWMP superintendent Sam Steele and author Jack London's experiences there.
Mar 21, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history, 2011
A great overview of the Klondike goldrush in Dawson City. Told through the lives of 6 people who lived and worked in Dawson during its short but exciting heyday. The photos and ancedotes make the book read more like fiction than non.
Oct 25, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic, 2011reads
An absorbing look at the Klondike gold rush, focusing on a few people who were participants in completely different ways. Most of the information, particularly about these people's personal experiences, came from first hand accounts. Great read.
Oct 30, 2010 Bruce rated it really liked it
Tells the story of the Klondike gold rush by focusing on the lives of six very different people. The focus on the individuals lends drive to the narrative without sacrificing a sense of the overall history. 4+ stars - superb.
Nov 18, 2015 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: haveread
Fun book to read, true history of a gold rush in the late 1890s in Alaska/Canada. I had seen the mini series on tv. The book was better than the show, but similar. Great characters and story.
Feb 20, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it
Love the books of history an old tough adventures.
Nov 16, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it
Fascinating account of the Yukon Gold rush. I want to go to Dawson city and party!
Catherine M Lowe
A great historical read

if you are interested in history of the Klondike this book gives the best details on the life in such a rugged part of history. great book.
Frances Philpott
Aug 30, 2015 Frances Philpott rated it liked it
It was interesting, but not as good as some of her other books I have read.
Jan 13, 2012 Lloyd rated it really liked it
Great read. My rating is 4.5 Stars. Review already submitted. My First Edition copy ends on page 413.
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Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s best-known writers, and author of eight acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. Born in Sheffield, England, and educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, she began her writing career in England as a magazine editor and newspaper columnist. After coming to Canada in 1979, she worked as a political commentator, book reviewer and magazine col ...more
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